Caribbean nations are preparing to demand reparations from the European nations who once enslaved them.
Sir Hilary Beckles, a historian who is pro-vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, is heading up the initiative. Beckles and heads of 15 Caribbean nations, will gather in St. Vincent to unveil their plans.
European nations are very skeptical of the plan for reparations. They think Caribbean nations are attempting to extract “vast sums from European taxpayers,” but Beckles affirms this is not the case.
He told TheGuardian.com, “The British media has been obsessed with suggesting that we expect billions of dollars to be extracted from European states.” He stated further, “Contrary to the British media, we are not exclusively concerned with financial transactions, we are concerned more with justice for the people who continue to suffer harm at so many levels of social life.”
He affirms that his plan is to open up dialogue with European nations and not to “open a can of worms leading to litigation.”
The UK Government said in a statement to TheGuardian.com, that they don’t see reparations as the answer. They insist that both nations should “concentrate on ways to move forward.”
In addition to issuing an apology for the Atlantic Slave Trade, Beckles spelled out the following demands in the 10 point plan: